The Chronicle

CCC called in on Mills


IN EARLY 2020, police investigat­ions into the disappeara­nce of Kaydence Dawita Mills had hit a wall. The young girl had been missing for more than three years and was feared dead, but police could not find her body. The officers had excavated the backyard at her Chinchilla family home in Burbank Street but came up emptyhande­d. It would be another three months before police were directed to dig up an embankment near the Chinchilla Weir. Here they found Kaydence’s body, wrapped in a plastic bag. It is understood the breakthrou­gh came after police called on the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigat­ors to use their coercive powers to force a key witness to speak up. The CCC’s annual report states this new informatio­n related to conversati­ons the witness had with Kaydence’s mum, Sinitta Tammy Dawita, and her partner Tane Saul Desatge about her disappeara­nce. As a result both were charged with murder, torture and interferin­g with a corpse on March 1, 2020. The pair is yet to enter pleas and remain in custody.

The CCC’s involvemen­t was one of 16 hearings that grilled witnesses during investigat­ions into serious crimes against children in 2020-21.

They included an investigat­ion into a serial rapist who was active in the Sunshine Coast area from 2019-2020.

Two people had informatio­n investigat­ors wanted but they wouldn’t cough it up.

Another matter involved a cold case investigat­ion into the disappeara­nce and suspected murder of a boy from Brisbane’s western suburbs, sometime between 1968 and 1970.

The CCC has extensive coercive powers.

It can hold hearings, compelling witnesses to attend where they must respond to questions, even if the answer is self-incriminat­ing.

It also has the power to compel people or agencies to produce records or other items.

The hearings give investigat­ors new informatio­n and evidence that can advance complex crime and corruption investigat­ions, as well as improve their understand­ing of organised crime involvemen­t in criminal activity.

These powers are used extensivel­y in corruption investigat­ions and major crime investigat­ions.

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